An update on Rook's Sophons in v2

Work on v2 of Rook’s governance has proceeded along two intersecting paths. The first is developing and revising a set of formal KIPs as well as other documents on the Governance notion page (set to public), and the second is isolating pieces of the process and collaborating with the community around their development in the governance workshop. Both paths have been necessary to get to the point where they can converge on more public discussions of specific changes in a forum that reaches beyond the workshop. This post is a step in that direction.

This post addresses one of the central components of Rook’s governance: the Sophons. It begins with an overview of the kinds of changes we’ve proposed, and also lays out some further pieces that need refining as a final step in developing a fully scoped process. Those pieces will appear in subsequent forum posts.

What do we want from Sophons?

The community has consistently expressed a desire for a refinement of the Sophons’ responsibilities across several areas, as well as an increased participation and presence in the governance process.

  • Clear rules for how Sophons accept or reject a proposal for their review, with a bias toward moving to review and a vote
  • More transparency and communication around the process of Sophon deliberation and decision-making as an output of that process.
  • More sharing of Sophon expertise at multiple steps in the process.

Working from these general requirements, we’ve been working on specific questions of implementation as a community during workshops, as well as in some basic blocking and tackling around the governance process as a whole. Through this work, we’ve arrived at a set of criteria for Sophon engagement summarized in the visual below. The image moves forward in time from left to right, beginning with proposal development and ending with a decision about the proposal.

More specifically, here are the set of expectations for a revised role for the Sophons, which I have included in the draft version of the KIP laying out the new Sophon framework. They include the following:

  • Participating actively in the public discussion of all proposals during the period of community discussion on the forum (in red in the graph above), primarily through posting comments to the forum in dialogue with the author.
    • While not expected of each Sophon for every proposal, the DAO looks to individual Sophon representation in DAO-hosted AMAs, workshops and other discussions of proposals.
  • Screening draft-stage KIPs for progression to Sophon review according to Sophon screening criteria
  • Deliberating on accepted proposals in order to provide informed and mission-aligned recommendations, communicating those recommendations to the community of tokenholders, and voting in line with their individual recommendations. While the criteria will vary by the nature of each KIP, the Sophons’ decisions should at minimum be guided by the Sophon decision criteria. At the end of their deliberations, the Sophons must:
    • Collectively publish the Sophons’ consensus recommendation of “No objection” or “Object” on the forum; and
    • Individually post rationale, analysis and/or commentary for the collective recommendation in comments on the forum.
    • During the voting period, vote individually using their ENS address or some other verifiable address in Snapshot
  • Debating votes that end up in Reconciliation.
    • Elicit opposing tokenholder views in a dedicated channel on Discord and/or on the forum
    • Work toward rough consensus with opposing tokenholders, and determine Reconciliation outcome when consensus is not possible.

How do we get there?

While the expectations above can and likely will change as we move closer to formalizing them, they also raise a number of important questions that need to be addressed in order to make them feasible. We’ve discussed several in workshop, but will focus on two in particular this week:

  • What would these expanded commitments mean for Sophons in terms of time commitment, and because of that, for potential compensation?
  • If we’re going to have “Sophon decision criteria” to hold measure decisions against, what should those criteria be?
  • As we move to onboarding, what should we look for in Sophons, and how do we ensure we get a sufficiently deep pool to choose from?

The two posts following this one address aspects of these questions by describing the results of a poll of the Sophons themselves, as well as an initial set of decision criteria for discussion and refinement.

More to come!